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|Round The Red Lamp||Arthur Conan Doyle|
A Question Of Diplomacy.
|Page 6 of 10||
"But oh! mamma, in a week! Poor Arthur!"
"He will be happy."
"What! happy to part?"
"He need not part. You shall go with him."
"Yes, I say it."
"Oh! mamma, in a week?"
"Yes indeed. A great deal may be done in a week. I shall order your trousseau to-day."
"Oh! you dear, sweet angel! But I am so frightened! And papa? Oh! dear, I am so frightened!"
"Your papa is a diplomatist, dear."
"But, between ourselves, he married a diplomatist too. If he can manage the British Empire, I think that I can manage him, Ida. How long have you been engaged, child?"
"Ten weeks, mamma."
"Then it is quite time it came to a head. Lord Arthur cannot leave England without you. You must go to Tangier as the Minister's wife. Now, you will sit there on the settee, dear, and let me manage entirely. There is Sir William's carriage! I do think that I know how to manage Sir William. James, just ask the doctor to step in this way!"
A heavy, two-horsed carriage had drawn up at the door, and there came a single stately thud upon the knocker. An instant afterwards the drawing-room door flew open and the footman ushered in the famous physician. He was a small man, clean-shaven, with the old-fashioned black dress and white cravat with high-standing collar. He swung his golden pince-nez in his right hand as he walked, and bent forward with a peering, blinking expression, which was somehow suggestive of the dark and complex cases through which he had seen.
"Ah" said he, as he entered. "My young patient! I am glad of the opportunity."
"Yes, I wish to speak to you about her, Sir William. Pray take this arm-chair."
"Thank you, I will sit beside her," said he, taking his place upon the settee. "She is looking better, less anaemic unquestionably, and a fuller pulse. Quite a little tinge of colour, and yet not hectic."
"I feel stronger, Sir William."
"But she still has the pain in the side."
"Ah, that pain!" He tapped lightly under the collar-bones, and then bent forward with his biaural stethoscope in either ear. "Still a trace of dulness--still a slight crepitation," he murmured.
"You spoke of a change, doctor."
"Yes, certainly a judicious change might be advisable."
"You said a dry climate. I wish to do to the letter what you recommend."
"You have always been model patients."
"We wish to be. You said a dry climate."
"Did I? I rather forget the particulars of our conversation. But a dry climate is certainly indicated."
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|Round The Red Lamp
Arthur Conan Doyle
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